May 10, 2013
Long day in the saddle today. The day had started with the plan being to camp at Seward, AK then return to Anchorage on Saturday....there were to be changes.
Woke around 7:30 AM, the air was crisply cold with the temperatures in the low 30s. I rode into town to get a gallon jug of water at the Safeway and then proceeded to cook myself some breakfast and brew some coffee to warm up.
Then it was time to pack up the rig, and by 10:30 I was departing Homer and heading towards Seward to check out the mountains around that town. There was a big birding festival in Homer this weekend, time for me to leave and avoid the crowds of bird lovers.
I made it to Seward, Alaska around 4:30 PM or so. After checking in with my loving wife, I shot pictures of the beautiful mountains that border Resurrection Bay on which shores Seward is built.
At first, I'd not seen much in the way of crowds, which was surprising given the presence of the above cruise ship. Soon though, large white buses started to appear, disgorging dozens, no hundreds, of the tourists which had come by ship! I could see more buses arriving, I figured they were bringing the ship-borne tourists back from local attractions.
Faced with the crowds, the really strong wind in the bay....I decided to forgo camping and headed back towards Wasilla. Anchorage was only 125 miles away from Seward so I figured add one more hour for Wasilla and I'd be back at Bob and Sharon's place, no sweat. It would actually take closer to 4.5 hours.
Traffic was heavier on the Sterling and Seward Highways on the way to Anchorage. Strong headwinds as well as cagers going really fast caused me delays. Stopping often to gawk at the gorgeous scenery presented by nature along the Seward Highway didn't help things either.
At one gas stop, I was UDF'ed by a former Coloradan who lives in Seward. He sympathized with my decision to flee the cruise ship crowds. However, it turns out the buses are used to take the tourists to/from Seward to places such as Denali, Talkeetna and such. The town of Seward itself doesn't get much money from the tourists, so the crowds I'd feared were probably not going to be bad. Still, he also mentioned that during the summer, he also flees the city for less crowded parts!
Once I reached the outskirts of Anchorage around 8:30PM it was just boring slab riding through the city, and the intervening spaces between it and Wasilla. It was getting dusky by the time I got to Wasilla, I checked in once again with Martha then got dinner at Subways.
Both Sharon and Bob were up and waiting for me when I got to their home at around 10:00PM. They welcomed me back and we chatted briefly before everyone went off to bed.